Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale Horses
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About Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale HorsesAbout Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale Horses



Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale (or "Roman horse of the part of the Maremma that is in Lazio") are native to the Lazio region of Italy. They are an ancient breed, but they were officially recognised only in 2010. They are now one of the fifteen indigenous horse breeds of limited distribution listed by the AIA, the Italian breeders' association. The Lazio region has assigned it the conservation status of "at risk of erosion". Their population numbers about 800, of which most are in the comune of Monte Romano in the province of Viterbo; a herd of approximately 200 are at Ponzano Romano in the province of Rome, and others are in the province of Rieti.

DNA testing had shown that the traditional working horse of the Maremma of Lazio was not only physically but genetically distinguishable from its counterpart in the Tuscan Maremma, the Maremmano, with which it had previously been classed. The two populations are reported as having common origins but limited overlap, with the Roman horse showing greater variability and a higher proportion of "ancestral" genes. Ripert reports informally that the Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale has 38.5% genes of the original type, while the registered Maremmano population has only 12%. The genetic study, carried out by the Consorzio per la Sperimentazione, Divulgazione e Applicazione di Biotecniche Innovative (CONSDABI), National Focal Point for Italy of the Animal Genetic Resources project of the FAO, was presented at the 12th conference on “New findings in equine practice” held at Druento (Turin, Italy), 11–13 November 2010.

  The ARSIAL (regional agency for development and innovation in agriculture of Lazio) suggests that this is the same horse breed as the "Cavallo Romano" that was well described in 19th century treatises; authors who discuss the Cavallo Romano include Moreschi (1903) and Fogliata (1910). It is also suggested that the Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale descends from the horses of the ancient Romans, such as that of Marcus Aurelius, or even of the Etruscans.  

The Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale may be bay, black, chestnut or grey; limited facial markings (star and stripe) are permitted, as are white socks. Males measure 155–165 cm (15.1–16.1 hands) at the withers, females 150–162 cm (14.3–16.0 hands). The girth and cannon measurements are similar for both sexes, approximately 170–210 cm (67–83 in) and 19–24 cm (7.5–9.4 in) respectively. The head is well set on, slightly long and heavy, and the profile convex or Roman; the neck is thick, muscular and arched, the mane and tail long and thick. The shoulder is muscular and tends to be straight, the chest is broad with substantial muscle, the girth is deep and the back is short, straight and muscular, sometimes slightly concave. The croup is broad and sloping, and the tail is set low. The legs are solid, strong and muscular, the hooves broad and strong. Horses with concave profile, long or drooping ears, or poor conformation of the legs are not admitted for registration.

They are lively and well-marked. They are docile and courageous. Plus they are sure-footed on even the most difficult terrain.

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